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This type of family isn't often recognized in film. 'A Wrinkle in Time' made it happen.

‘A Wrinkle in Time' made representation central to its plot.

This type of family isn't often recognized in film. 'A Wrinkle in Time' made it happen.

"A Wrinkle in Time" was released in theaters on March 9, and it's continuing the movement toward diversifying representation in film.        

Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Disney.

As the first African-American woman to helm a big budget blockbuster, DuVernay took an opportunity to try a film genre that was new to her. It’s safe to say, her entrance into the world of children’s movies was a success: "A Wrinkle in Time" came in at #2 in its opening weekend, second only to "Black Panther," also helmed by a black filmmaker.


The majestic, whimsical film captured the hearts of many for a number of reasons: the remarkable costumes, awe-inspiring soundtrack, and a star-studded cast.  

But there’s one aspect of the movie that particularly caught the eyes of many, including actress Tessa Thompson.

Photo by Lily Lawrence/Getty Images for The Blackhouse Foundation at Sundance 2018.

As a biracial woman, Tessa Thompson says she felt seen when watching Meg, a biracial young girl and her family.  

Thompson pointed out that she wished she’d seen that kind of on-screen representation as a child, and many of her followers agreed.  

Meg, who is played by Storm Reid, is the brainy, curious daughter of a white man (Chris Pine) and a black, biracial woman (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). Throughout the film, Meg works to navigate the complex experiences that many biracial children face, such as learning how to love herself, growing to value and adore her hair, and reckoning with feelings of belonging in a world that sometimes doesn’t recognize you.  

Image via "A Wrinkle in Time"/Disney/YouTube

When a film showcases these experiences, viewers see a family unit that isn’t typically given screen time.

It's an added source of representation for biracial kids looking for characters to identify with.  

Thompson has long advocated for films that tell the stories of women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and other underrepresented groups. Most recently, she praised actor Michael B. Jordan for adopting inclusion ridersclauses in contracts that requires a certain level of diversity among a project’s cast and crew — into all of his production company’s projects. She has continued to push for movies and television shows that feature different experiences and identities.

Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for AT&T and DIRECTV.

Films that reflect the different experiences in our world don’t only normalize underrepresented groups of people, they empower them.  

Empowering underrepresented groups on the big screen is close to DuVernay’s heart. The director has made it clear that representation will continue to be a key element in her films.  

“When we're talking about diversity, it's not a box to check,” DuVernay told Fast Company. "It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us."    

Photo by Bard Barket/Getty Images for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Thompson’s tweet, the responses of agreement, and DuVernay's explicit calls to continue telling diverse stories, amplifies an important reality that filmmakers should take note of: Children deserve to see themselves represented, whether that be through the lens of race, gender, or sexuality.  

Let’s hope "A Wrinkle in Time" is just the beginning.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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